New York Law School Presents The Rooftops Conference on Not-For-Profits and Real Estate

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The Center for Real Estate Studies at New York Law School presents “The Rooftops Conference,” its first symposium focused on the role of real estate occupied by not-for-profit organizations in connection with their charitable purposes, on Friday, May 20, from 8:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at the Law School, located at 185 West Broadway.

Most not-for-profit organizations don’t think of themselves as being in the real estate business, but real estate is often one of the largest categories of repeat operating expense, as well as a major capital investment, Professor Hagy said.

The Center for Real Estate Studies (CRES) at New York Law School presents “The Rooftops Conference,” its first symposium focused on the role of real estate—owned, leased, and hosted physical facilities—occupied by not-for-profit organizations in connection with their charitable purposes, on Friday, May 20, from 8:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at the Law School, located at 185 West Broadway.

This is the first event organized by “The Rooftops Project,” a new initiative founded and directed by James Hagy, Distinguished Adjunct Professor affiliated with CRES. The Project will provide real estate programs, workshops, and Web and print resources to not-for-profit organizations with a mission to host ongoing dialogue among social sector and real estate industry professionals, to celebrate the diverse roles played by real estate (as physical space) in supporting the mission of not-for-profit organizations of every type, and to increase awareness of the contribution that a disciplined approach to real estate can make.

“Most not-for-profit organizations don’t think of themselves as being in the real estate business, but real estate is often one of the largest categories of repeat operating expense, as well as a major capital investment,” Professor Hagy said. “If an organization’s property is out of line with program needs or funding streams, it can be one of the longest, most inflexible and unforgiving commitments. That is why we are so enthusiastic about hosting an independent, national dialogue and exchange of ideas about the effective ownership, design, use, maintenance, and funding of real estate in furtherance of social sector missions.”

In addition to programming, The Rooftops Project has been conducting research to explore the attitudes and approaches of not-for-profit organizations with respect to owned and leased real estate occupied for their operations. The Project conducted a survey of 200 organizations from across the country that have coped with circumstances as different as a direct hit from Hurricane Katrina to a myriad of funding challenges—and an increase in demand for charitable services—in a difficult economy. The results of this survey will also inform future programming and resources. Read the report with results of the survey and commentary by clicking here.

The Rooftops Conference is organized as a series of informal dialogues among representatives of not-for-profit organizations, real estate professionals, and government, addressing central themes relevant to all types of not-for-profits. Some of the issues covered include: the role of real estate in not-for-profit performance; effective team-building for real estate projects; funding approaches and alternatives; occupancy opportunities and challenges in a down economy; facilities assessment and operating strategies; sustainability and “green” initiatives, including those for properties and organizations with resource constraints; and the impact of not-for-profits as urban neighbors. Panelists come from 20 organizations in New York and nationwide, including the Children’s Aid Society, the Wildlife Conservation Society, The Starr Foundation, The Cleveland Museum of Art, the Archdiocese of Chicago, and the Abyssinian Development Corporation.

The conference is free for not-for-profit executives, staff, and board members; $95 for all other professionals. For a link to the conference registration page, please visit: https://nyls.wufoo.com/forms/registration-the-rooftops-conference-2011. For a list of other future events, please click here.

Members of the media may RSVP to LaToya Jordan at latoya.jordan (at) nyls (dot) edu or 212.431.2191.

About New York Law School
Founded in 1891, New York Law School is an independent law school located in lower Manhattan near the city’s centers of law, government, and finance. New York Law School’s renowned faculty of prolific scholars has built the School’s strength in such areas as constitutional law, civil and human rights, labor and employment law, media and information law, urban legal studies, international and comparative law, and a number of interdisciplinary fields. The School is noted for its nine academic centers: Center on Business Law & Policy, Center on Financial Services Law, Center for International Law, Center for New York City Law, Center for Professional Values and Practice, Center for Real Estate Studies, Diane Abbey Law Center for Children and Families, Institute for Information Law & Policy, and Justice Action Center. New York Law School has more than 13,000 graduates and currently enrolls some 1,500 full-time students and 430 part-time students in its J.D. program and its four advanced degree programs in financial services law, real estate, tax, and mental disability law studies. http://www.nyls.edu

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